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2019 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta: A fleet of winners

by Jan Hein 24 Apr 2019 04:41 BST 17-23 April 2019
A sea of sailors filled the grounds of the Antigua Yacht Club - Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2019 © Tobias Stoerkle

After five days of racing in every possible configuration of trade-wind and seas, captains and crews were more than ready to celebrate. A sea of sailors, dressed for the occasion, filled the grounds of the Antigua Yacht Club. Crew shirts, evening attire and flowing tropical fabric were a welcome contrast to the salt stained clothes worn just hours before. The stage, sponsored by Lava/Townhouse, was set with a feast of gleaming trophies created during three decades of classic boat racing. Layered on top, orange LOCMAN bags held coveted handcrafted watches.

Regatta Chairman, Carlo Falcone praised the crowd for a successful week of competition. Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Sir Rodney Williams, welcomed sailors, acknowledging their efforts to reach the island. "You have all come from a long way," he said. "One boat came from Canada, some from Europe and others from the States. To all of you, we say welcome and to those returning, welcome back."

Tommy Paterson, ornately outfitted as Lord Nelson, took the stage before a packed audience of sun-kissed sailors. "Thank you to the volunteers. I honestly don't know where you came from. Some fly in for this event," he said. "Leslie Arnold took on the role of Regatta Coordinator and two other jobs!" Honouring generous sponsors, "Thank you to LOCMAN from the island of Elba. You know," he joked, "Napoleon and I don't get along!" Acknowledging sailors' favourites, Mount Gay Rum, Carib Beer and Soufrière Water, he added, "They make everyone happy."

Awards began with the Fitzroy Cup, given to an outstanding young sailor. This year's winner, energetic Anguillan Kendal Macroy, sailed aboard 50' staysail schooner Charm III and was instrumental in the boat's adventurous journey to reach the Regatta.

Carriacou sloop 32' New Moon claimed The John Leader Trophy for most respected vessel, sailing each day with a team of Antiguan youth. Their bright orange shirts and beaming smiles were a favourite of photographers and every boat they passed.

The Ann Wallis White award for smallest boat in the Regatta went to Freddie Mills for an exhausting performance aboard Dragon #1, Jolly Beach.

203' Athos took home a stunning watch and the LOCMAN trophy for largest boat in the fleet. Designed by Hoek, she is the world's largest privately owned two-masted schooner.

Paloma VI, a 32' ocean racer designed by Allende, earned the Woodstock Trophy for best restoration. Owner Jordi Augusti sailed with his daughter Sue and four other rising star youth sailors.

Amongst an exquisite fleet of beauty, 72' Fife ketch Eilean was a standout, turning heads on the race course and earning the Most Photogenic award.

Marine Power Services award, honouring the matriarch of the Regatta, went to 64' Herreshoff schooner Mary Rose, built in 1925 and meticulously maintained by owner Gerald Ranier.

Sporting a clean and classic look, the Spirit of Tradition 49' Blackfish was bestowed with the Best Dressed prize. The boat's logo, an artistic native design, flew over the boat and adorned their winning shirts.

Everyone in attendance at Antigua's Classic finale took home the grand prize of spirit that makes the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta a do-not-miss event.

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